Walt Disney World may bear Walt’s name, but to truly see “Walt’s park” you need to head to sunny Southern California and see the original — Disneyland!
Walt’s spirit is everywhere at this magical park, and you almost expect to see him waving from his apartment above the firehouse on Main Street, USA. Here are just a few reasons why every Disney fan needs to make the pilgrimage to Disneyland.
Disneyland is your land
“To all who come to this happy place, welcome. Disneyland is your land.” Walt famously said those words on opening day back in 1955, and the park has been welcoming guests ever since. But it was Walt’s land, too, and he spent countless hours here walking the pavement, interacting with guests and riding attractions — and Imagineering new ones! When you pass under that plaque with his opening day speech — “Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy” — you know you are on sacred ground.
Ride the originals
Many of the opening day attractions are still in use today, and it is absolutely magical to take a spin on them! Check out Autopia, Casey Junior Circus Train, the Disneyland Railroad, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, the Jungle Cruise, King Arthur Carrousel, Mad Tea Party, Main Street Vehicles, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Peter Pan’s Flight, Snow White’s Scary Adventures, or Storybook Land Canal Boats and become a part of history!
More manageable magic
One of the great surprises awaiting guests at the Disneyland Resort is just how much EASIER it is than it’s younger East-Coast sibling. Walt couldn’t afford as much land when he first embarked on this project, so the overall footprint of the resort is smaller and walkable. Attractions are close together and the overall feel is charming and quaint. And while you may need to make some of the most coveted reservations in advance, it is often easy to find dining options and other activities the day of.
Little treasures everywhere
From names on Main Street windows to the initials of Walt and his brother Roy entwined on the balcony of Pirates of the Caribbean, there are little bits of history everywhere! You can spot Hidden Mickeys, see nods to bygone attractions, and eat some of Walt’s favorite recipes at the Carnation Café.
More magic nearby
The sites aren’t limited to Disneyland. I highly recommend checking out Walt’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, eating at his favorite restaurant Tam O’Shanter, and visiting the Walt Disney Studios. Creating Magic Vacations has a fantastic Adventures by Disney trip that includes all of these favorites, contact me to book your spot!
I would love to help you plan your trip to the Happiest Place on Earth. I think you’ll find it just as enchanting as I do! Come connect with Walt and feel the magic.